BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Senior forward Chanelle Melton (Brockton, Mass.) tallied 19 points and nine rebounds to lead the Bridgewater State University women's basketball team to an 84-76 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) victory over visiting Westfield State University on Saturday afternoon at the Tinsley Center.
The Bears, who had six players finish in double figure scoring, improve to 8-13 on the season and 4-4 in the MASCAC with their four straight win. The Bears handed the Owls (13-7, 7-1 MASCAC) their first conference loss of the season and snapped Westfield's seven-game winning streak.
Melton connected on 8 of 17 field goals and five of her nine rebounds came off the offensive glass. She also dished out five assists and blocked a shot. Melton now has 960 points in her career.
Sophomore forward Kayla Carter (Beverly, Mass.) added 15 points, six boards and three steals for the Bears while senior guard Rhiana Page (Brookline, Mass.) notched 15 points, six rebounds and a game-high seven assists and junior guard Sara DaSilva (Chelmsford, Mass.) tallied 13 points, five caroms, four assists and a game-high four steals. Junior forward Kailyn Aguiar (Acushnet, Mass.) posted a double-double with ten points and a game-best 11 rebounds to go along with three assists in 27 minutes off the bench. Junior guard Olivia DelGrosso (Ledyard, Conn.) registered ten points, two assists and a steal in 15 minutes off the bench to round out BSU's double-digit point producers.
Freshman forward Melissa Gray (Peabody, Mass.) paced Westfield with 22 points and a pair of steals, while junior guard Lucy Barrett (Williamstown, Mass.) checked in with 21 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Bridgewater State dominated the first quarter as the Bears held the Owls to just three field goals over the first ten minutes of the contest and held a 26-10 advantage after one. Westfield connected on just 3 of 16 field goals in the opening period while Bridgewater shot 59% (10-17) from the floor.
The second quarter was more evenly played as Westfield bounced back to shoot 55% (11-20) in the period. Gray made four three-pointers in the second quarter including one with 20 seconds remaining to close the gap to 46-36. DaSilva, however, drained a trifecta at the other end of the floor to give the Bears a 49-36 lead at the break.
Page, Melton, DelGrosso and Aguiar all scored ten points in the first half for the Bears who shot 57% (19-33) over the first two periods. Bridgewater made 13 trips to the free throw line in the first half but went just 8-for-13 (62%) at the stripe.
Gray poured in 16 first-half points for the Owls, while Barrett added ten. The duo combined to go 6-for-8 from behind the arc while the rest of the team went 0-for-6.
An 11-2 Westfield run over the first five minutes of the third quarter changed things in a hurry. Five different Owls scored during the run. Bridgewater would manage to hang on to a small lead for the remainder of the period as the game entered the final quarter with the Bears holding a 57-53 advantage.
A Carter layup to open the fourth extended the BSU lead to six (59-53). The Owls, however, reeled off seven straight points on a Barrett three-pointer and back-to-back buckets by Gray to take their first lead of the game, 60-59. Bridgewater answered with a 7-0 run capped off by a DaSilva trifecta to jump back in front, 66-60. The Bears would never trail again. After Westfield closed the gap to 66-64 with 5:42 remaining following back-to-back layups by Barrett and Gray, Bridgewater went on a 10-2 run over the next 4 ½ minutes to open up a ten-point lead (76-66) as the clock ticked under a minute. Melton scored five of the Bears' ten points during the spurt. Bridgewater made 14 trips (9-for-14) to the free throw line in the final minute as the Bears hung on for the key conference victory.
Bridgewater shot 49% (30-61) for the game including 4-for-9 (44%) from behind the arc. The Bears also went 20-for-31 (65%) from the charity stripe.
Westfield shot 42% from the floor on the afternoon and finished 10-for-33 (30%) from three-point range. The Owls were outscored 20-6 at the free throw line.
The MASCAC schedule continues for both teams on Wednesday evening. The Bears entertain the Vikings of Salem State University at 5:30, while the Owls travel to Framingham State University for a six o'clock game with the Rams.